All Saints 2017, Colin Kaepernick

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fullsizeoutput_3c4eI’m celebrating the Sunday after All Saints this year by talking about one of my favorite contemporary saints, Colin Kaepernick. I haven’t talked much about Colin’s protest last year and the ensuing drama surrounding him, but all things have a time and place, and celebrating saints is the perfect one for having a chat about our brother, Colin. I even made him an icon of sorts. 😁

Colin Kaepernick will be remembered for having initiated one of the most successful and powerful non-violent protests of our lifetime. Yes, he will be vindicated by history and the people name-calling and misrepresenting him will carry the shame. Colin hurt no one, broke no laws and defaced no property, but has been reviled and rejected for making his point. His point is that we don’t want to talk about the real problems, the racial sins of our nation in this very day, but we’d rather just roll along and pretend that America is all peaches and cream.

Does it strike anyone as interesting that we are so riled up over the protest of an athlete? He’s essentially an entertainer, and his entertaining skill is his athleticism. He earned his place on that team, in that uniform, in that game, and he chose to use what he had earned to quietly send a message: It’s not all OK in America. It seems we don’t like having our sins pointed out, even in quiet non-violent ways.

He’s accused of disrespecting the military and veterans. He has never spoken against them. He is accused of disrespecting the police. He has only spoken against the racism and injustice of police brutality. He’s accused of disrespecting our culture. He only has spoken against racism and unjust brutality, so is that an admission that some hold racism as part of a valuable cultural heritage? He has been called names, even by the highest elected politician of the land. He is no longer playing the sport he loves and is good at playing. He has paid the price of his protest and not backed down. Few of us have ever had the opportunity to make a fraction of the impact or display a shred of that courage. 

He lives out of his faith. He is marked by it. His life is animated by it. That faith binds him to us and to everyone who cannot command the stage of our nation’s conversation and say:

“This stand wasn’t because I feel like I’m being put down in any kind of way. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice: people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and affect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that, and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.”

“We have a lot of people that are oppressed. We have a lot of people that aren’t treated equally, aren’t given equal opportunities. Police brutality is a huge thing that needs to be addressed. There are a lot of issues that need to be talked about, need to be brought to life, and we need to fix those.”

“We have a lot of people that are oppressed. We have a lot of people that aren’t treated equally, aren’t given equal opportunities. Police brutality is a huge thing that needs to be addressed. There are a lot of issues that need to be talked about, need to be brought to life, and we need to fix those.”

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color… To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

He’s done all this, has submitted to the ridicule and hatred, has possibly sacrificed his career and has been demonized and vilified by voices around the country, all to speak up for the voiceless. He kneels to stand for the defenseless. He is a saint. I hope that more of us have an opportunity to show his courage and to work as hard for the change that our society so desperately needs.

Colin’s faith:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/24/colin-kaepernick-vs-tim-tebow-a-tale-of-two-christianities-on-its-knees/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.cf7edd0c4789

Colin speaking for himself:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem

Colin’s story:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/sports/colin-kaepernick-nfl-protests.html

Why Colin knelt:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2735093-have-we-lost-sight-of-what-colin-kaepernick-was-really-protesting-for

We need to talk about Colin and the nonviolent protests by other players because it is bringing out the worst of our nation. From faked images like the concocted flag burning by a Seahawks player, to the President cursing our citizens’ use of their First Amendment rights, to the Texans owner referring to the players as inmates, we have a real problem on our hands. There are prominent voices in our country who don’t want things changed, problems addressed and racial inequalities seen for what they are. This is why Colin is so important. This is why his faith and courage matter in this time and place.

AMDG, Todd

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